How to achieve a believable belief?

Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:48 am

Gil,
Thanks for the extremely interesting movie.

A question to all:

What do you think about Spiritualism?

The most famous spiritualistic medium was Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), who became the founder of Theosophy, which is also the basis of Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy. She has described death and rebirth already hundred years before the NDE studies have been started.

On http://blavatsky.net I have found the following text:

"Near death experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival - especially now that modern medical techniques have increased the recovery rate of individuals in hospitals, and now that more people feel free to openly discuss their experiences."
My (Hermann's) belief is described at: http://rational-weltanschauung.blogspot.com/
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:58 am

hraith wrote:Gil,
What do you think about Spiritualism?

My one dabbling with a Ouija board has left me skeptical of this sort of thing, but it did give an insight into how the thing works.

My best friend and I at the age of around sixteen had a go in an appropriately darkened room etc. We picked up a spirit who called himself Joker ... and told us all sorts of stuff mainly nonsense. Afterwards my friend and I were talking and he said at least he [the spirit] got the year of death for Queen Victoria right, 1898. Being a keen coin collector at the time I knew immediately it was wrong. My friend swore that he was not moving the glass consciously. I tend to believe him. Nevertheless it gave me a really good sense of how these things work.

I even then realized I may have contributed to some of the nonsense answers, I have no way of knowing. Sadly my friend Simon passed away a couple of years ago, perhaps I should buy a Ouija board. For me, the only way Simon lives on is the actions he set in motion and even those were not all his.

When Blavatsky says Near death experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival, do you think she would have said ketamine induced experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival in today`s world?
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby gilnv » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:01 am

romansh wrote:
When Blavatsky says Near death experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival, do you think she would have said ketamine induced experiences have opened a wonderful door into vistas of the soul's survival in today`s world?


I hope you the draw line somewhere when it comes to denying someone's judgement when there is an association with drugs, neurotransmitters or hormones. For example, do you deny the existence of love because there are drugs that can induce those types of feelings and thoughts in people? Can a person still make a correct decision that someone would be a good life partner even though some 'MDMA' or 'oxytocin' may be affecting his or her judgement?
Personally, I think that the association with a chemical in the body (or mind) doesn't rule out the possibility of being right or wrong when it comes to 'love' or 'spiritual realms'.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby gilnv » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:23 am

hraith wrote:
A question to all:

What do you think about Spiritualism?
"


My beliefs about spirituality is that most of our human abilities have evolved out of us. We no longer have the abilities to sense or understand them.
Just as animals lose many of their extraordinary senses when they're domesticated as pets inside houses, the same atrophy has happened to humans over the past thousands of years.

I think some spiritual beliefs go back to a time (10's of thousands of years ago) when humans could see more wavelengths, hear more range, smell more scents than we can now. Our spiritual comprehension skills have atrophied with evolution because of the lifestyles we live and eat. And now that we can't sense as much, we prematurely assume spiritual realms don't exist.

Here are some examples of some of the changes we humans have done over the past thousands of years that I think deter our abilities to understand spirituality.
We don't walk barefoot much anymore, so we lose our electrical connection with the Earth, and we lose the vibrational frequency that the Earth exhibits too.

We don't connect with much real sunlight anymore, light bulbs and indoor living has changed that.

We eat mostly cooked dead food now as opposed to raw food that every other animal on Earth does. And sometime about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, the human's food (mostly vegetarinan) supply got curtailed by some ice age or something that forced humans to eat more animals, and thus we became more or a war mongering race as opposed to a conscious thinking race. Some of the fear hormones that animals get and release before death is transferred to us humans as we eat their flesh, we eat too much of their hormones and neurotransmitters.

Even the water we drink is processed and don't longer fresh living water, that is a major component of our bodies and minds. The water is not out in nature collecting energy from the sun and winds and sounds, it is stuck in pipes being treated with chemicals.

Personally, it is 9 degrees Farenheit outside here so I'm not going outside much today. :think01: Time to gather some firewood, Gil.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:52 pm

gilnv wrote: I hope you the draw line somewhere when it comes to denying someone's judgement when there is an association with drugs, neurotransmitters or hormones.

I'm not quite sure what you mean denying by someone's judgement Gil. What someone does with their body, I am careful how I preside judgement over them. I suspect narcotics are like poison ... all a matter of dose.
gilnv wrote: For example, do you deny the existence of love because there are drugs that can induce those types of feelings and thoughts in people?

Deny love? You have been reading too many of Bill's interpretations of what I am saying. I have been happily with my wife for forty years, I don't think I would be denying that. But I do question the nature of love, and I do think it is not what it seems at first blush.
gilnv wrote: Can a person still make a correct decision that someone would be a good life partner even though some 'MDMA' or 'oxytocin' may be affecting his or her judgement?

We make decisions all the time Gil. Whether they are correct or not is at best a matter of opinion. When a couple has kids and gets divorced is that a correct or incorrect decision? If someone marries and their spouse abuses them, no amount of oxytocin will make that decision "correct". But if the same person marries another and they live happily ever after ... are you saying oxytocin played no part in this "correct" decision?
gilnv wrote: Personally, I think that the association with a chemical in the body (or mind) doesn't rule out the possibility of being right or wrong when it comes to 'love' or 'spiritual realms'.

Logically I agree ketamines etc don't eliminate the possibility of a spiritual world, but personally it is one piece of evidence that makes me more skeptical of such things.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:01 pm

I prefer the old school definition of skepticism : "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

Which is fine for rebutting cases made to me that I should change my world view to match that of whomever is proffering me a world view which is claimed to be superior to the one I currently hold.

It is of no use whatsoever in telling me what is real and what is false: just to what extent can I dismiss various claims. It may very well be that humans have no self awareness, no self control and no free will. But I do not have to blindly accept such assertions until at least some shred of evidence or reason can be brought to bear on the case.

Likewise, I can dismiss the claim that my soul is destined for eternal hell fire damnation unless we have better "evidence" than the deductions of 18th century bible scholars who decided that was the fate of all who did not instantly and completely accept their world views.

For me, that there is no solid evidence for the existence of supernatural beings and events does not mean that they do not exist, just that their existence is beyond the ability of extreme skeptics to cater for.

For skepticism lies at one end of the line that starts with dogma and ends with skepticism. It is very easy for an agnostic to recognize that allowing dogma to rule every waking thought is not conducive to understanding how the universe works. What is harder to spot, it seems to me, is that skepticism can become an equally destructive blindfold if left to run amok over what one is permitted to believe.

The evidence for black energy and black matter is scant. It has to be there to make the universe work in the way it is observed, and its presence can be used to explain otherwise inexplicable phenomena. However, those skeptics who deny its very existence can be seen to allowing their skepticism to have gone oto far.

The trick is to show the same effect is taking place in other areas of theory and knowledge. It is a trick that most humans of a skeptical nature have yet to learn.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:58 am

Bill wrote: For me, that there is no solid evidence for the existence of supernatural beings and events does not mean that they do not exist, just that their existence is beyond the ability of extreme skeptics to cater for.

The question ... becomes how we handle the evidence.
Personally if I see no evidence for the supernatural then I don't see a great driver for me to believe in such a thing. Plus if there was evidence for such a thing would it be supernatural by definition? ie would it actually be beyond nature?

The trick is to show the same effect is taking place in other areas of theory and knowledge. It is a trick that most humans of a skeptical nature have yet to learn.

How I don't have a particular belief in black energy and I am quite happy to see the evidence unfold.

We judge science over centuries ... our belief in the supernatural I suspect is a bit more immediate.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:52 am

[quote="romansh"
Personally if I see no evidence for the supernatural then I don't see a great driver for me to believe in such a thing.[/quote]

Personally if I see no evidence for the existence of life on other planets, I don't see a great driver for me to believe in such things.

But is here where we divide: I have no current "belief" in any particular form of extraterrestrial life, but I do not therefore state that I think it does not exist.

On the other hand, although the "evidence" for black energy and black matter is somewhat scant, the theoretical work to show its necessity and its presence to explain the expansion of the universe at a rate impossible without its presence tends to sway me that the blasted stuff does actually exist. Having conceded that, and not knowing how it itself works, it makes all sorts of "hard" facts about the visible universe be up for grabs. Which is at least as scary as the possibility that esp could conceivably occur.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:25 pm

Bill wrote:
romansh wrote:Personally if I see no evidence for the supernatural then I don't see a great driver for me to believe in such a thing.

Personally if I see no evidence for the existence of life on other planets, I don't see a great driver for me to believe in such things.

But is here where we divide: I have no current "belief" in any particular form of extraterrestrial life, but I do not therefore state that I think it does not exist.

So what is your logic for saying I think there is no extra-terrestrial life? I have never said such a thing.
Bill wrote:On the other hand, although the "evidence" for black energy and black matter is somewhat scant, the theoretical work to show its necessity and its presence to explain the expansion of the universe at a rate impossible without its presence tends to sway me that the blasted stuff does actually exist. Having conceded that, and not knowing how it itself works, it makes all sorts of "hard" facts about the visible universe be up for grabs. Which is at least as scary as the possibility that esp could conceivably occur.

Both dark energy and extra-terrestrial life are more or less irrelevant to my everyday perception ... Black energy in some form another may well exist. For the purposes of this discussion I don't particularly care.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:03 pm

I didn't say that you had denied the possibility of extraterrestrial life - but I suspect that since there is no hard evidence one way or the other, this is another thing that can be discarded into the "who cares" trashcan for those who do not particularly care for anything not backed by hard science.
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